To start with, the name dimdim looks real cool. It emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. Dimdim is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) service to operate its service and uses Adobe flash 9 plugin for all its multimedia apps.

Dimdim on top of it followed the user led product development strategy (Web 2.0!, I hope I am write in calling it Web 2.0). Some of the gaps that they identified by taking feedback from users of best-of-breed products.

  • Slow to respond
  • Needs software to be installed on the attendee side
  • Need for integrated audio

Dimdim has been successful in de-bottlenecking most of the above issues associated with other web conferencing solutions. Alfresco VP, Matt Assay has this to say about dimdim “Dimdim is to webex and web conferencing what sugarCRM is to and alfresco is to sharepoint and documentum: an open source value-rich competitor that should keep the proprietary competition up at night”.

Some of the straightforward advantages of dimdim are:

  1. It is presence aware, and will integrate all other messaging systems
  2. 100% transparency as a company, with 100% open source code, roadmap and technical documentation online.
  3. Ajax-based web meeting console. No client-side application necessary.
  4. They are SaaS and leverage on Amazon’s elastic compute cloud.
  5. Coolest name that one can think of for a web meeting software

Some of the brickbats that you hear about them are:

  1. Not a single working demo on anything but windows platform, and is a little strange for an open source offering.
  2. Scalability is still an issue with dimdim. Their claims of supporting 500 party conference hosted on a single server, is by far probably their biggest statement without really testing. Especially considering the fact that 500 users are on a audio-conference on one server.

I certainly believe that they will do a workaround on all of this and also take into account the compatibility issues related to working behind a firewall etc. sooner.

Based on what I see and hear, dimdim seems to be next thing in web conferencing and I also hope that they dont become an acquisition candidate for the Adobe’s, avaya’s and siemens, for it will strip them of the value that it can add as a start-up.